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    June 25, 2020

    Within weeks of lockdown measures shuttering businesses across Canada, the federal government announced broad-reaching emergency income supports. But three months later, and even after government extended existing emergency income supports, many sex workers remain out of work and ineligible to receive emergency income supports, and all are working in precarious conditions.

    “Sex workers are one of the most marginalized groups of people in Canada,” said Jenn Clamen, National Coordinator of the Canadian Alliance for Sex Work Law Reform. “Sex workers and other marginalized groups should be at the heart of the government’s pandemic response, but instead, continue to be ignored. Sex workers’ rights to health, safety, and dignity need to be protected in the context of a pandemic, so that they, too, can support themselves and their families.”

    June 24, 2020

    A human rights response to COVID-19 must include an intersectional approach which recognizes the specific impacts of the pandemic on LGBTI people, and the need for specific actions to ensure that the pandemic response doesn't lead to discrimination and further inequalities.

    Everyone is impacted by the COVID-19 global pandemic. But we aren’t all impacted in the same ways or to the same extent. Multiple and intersecting identities including gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, race, disability, age, family status, employment status, and immigration status, all shape how a person experiences the pandemic.

    LGBTI people face significant discrimination which leads to barriers to accessing healthcare services; high rates of homelessness, poverty, and social isolation; and high rates of harassment and violence. The pandemic has further exacerbated these inequalities.

    June 22, 2020

     

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    Sixties Scoop Network launches innovative mapping project for 60s Scoop survivors 

    (Ottawa/Unceded Algonquin Territory –  June 22 2020) This morning, the Sixties Scoop Network (formerly the National Indigenous Survivors of Child Welfare Network) launched a ground-breaking interactive map to visualize the displacement of Sixties Scoop survivors and share their stories. 

    June 18, 2020
    Chief Roland Willson, West Moberly First Nation
     

    June 17, 2020

    Earlier today, Canada lost its bid to be elected to a two-year term on the United Nations Security Council. Despite this loss, Canada can and must still advance its global goals through its Feminist Foreign Policy.

    Canada must play a constructive global role through continuing to support efforts to advance gender equality and the rights of women, girls and gender-diverse people across all areas of its foreign policy. 

    June 17, 2020

    Amnesty International is calling on Canada to urgently intervene to secure the release from prison of Yasser Albaz, a Canadian citizen who has been arbitrarily detained by Egypt since February 2019. Amnesty International is calling on Egyptian authorities to release Yasser Albaz immediately, as the organization considers his ongoing detention to be arbitrary based on information received from his family, including the absence of formal charges and judicial oversight of pre-trial detention. 

    June 17, 2020

    Earlier today, Canada lost its bid to be elected to a two-year term on the United Nations Security Council. Despite this loss, Canada can and must still advance its global goals through its Feminist Foreign Policy.

    Canada must play a constructive global role through continuing to support efforts to advance gender equality and the rights of women, girls and gender-diverse people across all areas of its foreign policy. 

    Canada must work to implement its Security Council campaign pledge to ‘make gender inequality history.’ This will involve significant new investments in supporting women peacebuilders and human rights defenders, strengthening women’s participation in peace negotiations and addressing sexual violence in conflict. “The security of women and girls is a key indicator of state security,” said Beth Woroniuk of the Equality Fund. “In its campaign, Canada made promises to advance the rights of women and girls. Carrying through on these promises will involve investments and courage to challenge international voices opposed to women’s rights.”

    June 15, 2020

    Right Honourable Justin Trudeau
    Prime Minister of Canada
    80 Wellington Street
    Ottawa, Ontario
    K1A 0A2

    Honourable Bardish Chagger
    Minister of Diversity and Inclusion and Youth
    15 Eddy Street, 14th Floor
    Gatineau, Quebec
    K1A 0M5

    Honourable Bill Blair
    Minister of Public Safety and Emergency-Preparedness
    269 Laurier Avenue West
    Ottawa, Ontario
    K1A 0P8

    June 15, 2020

    Dear Prime Minister Trudeau and Ministers Chagger and Blair,

    We write this Open Letter, on behalf of 400,000 supporters of Amnesty International across Canada, to urge your government to advance transformative change addressing anti-Black racism in Canada, including but not limited to the systemic anti-Black racism in policing and justice systems. We write to the three of you collectively because of the clear responsibility you each carry by virtue of your roles within government to act immediately to address this entrenched crisis.

    June 12, 2020

    “… the Working Group is deeply concerned by the structural racism that lies at the core of many Canadian institutions and the systemic anti-Black racism that continues to have a negative impact on the human rights situation of [Black people in Canada]. .” ….[T]here is clear evidence that racial profiling is endemic in the strategies and practices used by law enforcement.” 

    — "Report of the United Nations Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent on its Mission to Canada”, August 2017 

    June 11, 2020
    MEDIA ADVISORY 

    June 11, 2020 

    CANADA MUST PUT AN END TO SAUDI ARMS EXPORTS  

    A broad coalition of civil society organizations, human rights organizations, labour organizations and concerned individuals are calling for the Canadian government to end arms transfers to Saudi Arabia. A vigil will be held on 11 June 2020 in London, Ontario, outside of General Dynamics Land Systems-Canada beginning at 1 pm, alongside demonstrations that will take place in cities across Canada and virtually. 

    June 10, 2020

    OTTAWA – As COVID-19 restrictions begin to relax across Canada, remote and Indigenous communities are developing their own solutions specific to their needs and concerns.  

    As Amnesty International highlights in a new interactive project, Building Immunity in Community, different communities face different threats and challenges and they are developing effective solutions based on the needs of the people and the resources at hand. Many communities need better healthcare equipment and services, many have concerns about over-crowded housing, and other people are checking in with elders, sharing food and traditional medicines, and creating emergency plans. 

    June 05, 2020
     
    It is time for transformative change to end anti-Black racism in Canada too

    by Alex Neve, Secretary General

    Over these past 10 days, the names, the pain, the images and the violence associated with anti-Black racism in the United States have been absolutely searing. The pain and violence of racism that Black communities across the country have endured for generations.  Many activists and commentators are pointing to a glimmer of hope and possibility that the resulting waves of anger, outrage, courage and protest can and will unleash the fundamental change that is so necessary.

    And it must. Change that is truly transformative. Change that addresses anti-Black racism in all its aspects, not only when it comes to the police but reaches far beyond. Change that dismantles the systems of oppressive white supremacy that are the source of this racism and have been its toxic fuel for centuries. Change that will endure.

    June 04, 2020

    The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau

    Prime Minister of Canada

    80 Wellington Street

    Ottawa, Ontario

    K1A 0A2

    June 3, 2020

    Dear Prime Minister,

    We are writing this Open Letter, on behalf of Amnesty International’s supporters across Canada and also reflective of the concerns of the entire global movement of Amnesty International, to urge you to take a much stronger position of unequivocal opposition to Israeli Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu’s plan to annex a large part of the West Bank, land that is part of Occupied Palestinian Territory.  

    Prime Minister Netanyahu is expected to finalize this in the coming weeks. Such a step would violate the UN Charter, jus cogens norms of international law, and international humanitarian legal obligations. It would certainly stand as well to deepen and exacerbate decades of severe and entrenched human rights violations against Palestinians living in the West Bank. It is urgent and vital for Canada to express firm, explicit and public condemnation of this move.

    June 04, 2020

    On May 22, over 20 women’s rights and equality-seeking organizations in Canada wrote a joint letter to the federal government, calling for low-barrier emergency income supports for sex workers, who thus far have been left out of the pandemic response in Canada.

    In response, rather than moving forward with a mechanism to provide income supports to sex workers, government responded in a subsequent meeting with advocates by suggesting that local organizations working with sex workers apply to the $350 million Emergency Community Support Fund announced in May by Minister of Families, Children, and Social Development Ahmed Hussen. Most sex worker rights groups and other grassroots organizations serving marginalized communities do not fit the stated criteria to apply for such funds because they are often not registered non-profits or charities, and are made up of the marginalized individuals who have been left out of the pandemic response. In addition, the Fund does not cover income replacements.

    June 02, 2020

    OTTAWA – The Canadian government must advance consistent and globally-coordinated action to reverse China’s deeply problematic decision to apply its national security laws to Hong Kong. This troubling move poses extremely dangerous implications for the people of Hong Kong, said several human rights defenders and federal politicians in a press conference today.

    Last week, the Canadian government released a joint statement – along with the United Kingdom, the United States and Australia – condemning the new legislation. Alex Neve, Secretary General of Amnesty International Canada’s English branch, said “it is now vital to deepen and expand on this joint declaration of concern, through consistent and forceful diplomacy with China, with other governments around the world, and in all available multilateral fora.”  

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